Contract Advantage FAQs
Contract Advantage Client-Server FAQ
1. What is Contract Advantage Client-Server?
Contract Advantage Client-Server (CACS) is a Microsoft SQL-Server based contract management system. CACS allows for an easy-to-use solution to the management of time, people and financial resources related to contract-related activities – whether it pre-contract, in negotiations, during the life of Contract or during contract close-out. The system offers many modules in support of Contract management process—date management, early warning action alerts via email, compliance, insurance certificates, intellectual property, real estate, financial transactions, document templates, and much more.
2. What makes Contract Advantage Client-Server so unique?
Contract Advantage – Client-Server Version is intended for Workgroups and Departments, usually up to 20 users on a local area network. It is an efficient, low-cost contract management solution.
3. Why would I need Contract Advantage Client-Server Version?
If you are here, you already know why. You have a large contract base. It is complicated. Information needs to be shared. Automatic alerts are needed to inform stakeholders about what they need to do. You may need to create contract documents, generate reports, do a full text search of your imaged documents. You have compliance issues, Sarbanes-Oxley requirements, vendor and client monitoring needs, etc. The Client-Server Version is geared for 3 or more users on a local area network – a department or group of departments. It is faster and more secure than the Standard Version product and offers more features and capabilities.
4. How can Contract Advantage Client-Server help me in my work?
Contract Advantage Client-Server is useful in the following functions: legal and contract administration, purchasing, financial controls and administration, marketing and sales, R&D contracting, clinical trials, engineering and information systems management. CACS has been designed to provide the user with quick answers to typical management questions, such as:
- What contract actions are imminent and when are they due? Who is responsible?
- When is the contract expiring?
- How can we prevent contracts from renewing unnecessarily?
- Where is all the info relating to a contract that is kept in a dozen different places?
- Who is responsible for which agreements?
- Who are the key contacts and how can I reach them?
- What relationships do we have with outside third parties/vendors?
- What are our financial obligations and anticipated receipts tied to a contract?
- and more.
5. What are the key features of the software?
CACS has been designed for:
- flexible searching of hundreds of fields of data stored in the system’s database. The system logic has been designed to allow for searches from a combination of fields included in the search.
- flexible reporting on the core information in the system, as well as action reports and contract reports. You can define reports based on groups of contracts/agreements that meet your search criteria.
- sending advance Alerts for milestones and action due dates.
- sharing information among authorized users.
6. How does the search capability work?
You can retrieve all Contracts that meet whatever search criteria is set on the Search screen. For instance, you can access all contracts involved with patent #1234-5678. Or, for that patent number, all contracts expiring between 7/1/2008 and 12/31/2008. Or, for those same contracts, Contracts that are under litigation. Or, you can pull up all contracts under litigation, or all contracts that need to be reviewed over the next 30 days. There are 100’s of data fields that you can use, in combination or alone, to select contracts. Other uses of this could include: show me all vendor contracts, across all divisions, for a particular vendor; show me all agreements related to a particular individual (i.e., product manager) or represented by a particular in-house counsel; show me all distribution agreements covering Abu Dhabi. You can also run a full-text search against stored document images (PDF files with OCR layers).
7. What are the most important functions of Contract Advantage Client-Server?
If you ask any client, the following features are the most important:
1- the system becomes THE central repository of contract information and documents
2- the system tracks who is responsible for contracts and related actions
3- the system reminds these responsible people of what they have to do in a timely manner
4- the system provides a clause library for sourcing preferred and alternate language for contracts
5- the system provides a flexible reporting environment
Whatever your needs, there are key modules that offer services that can meet your needs.
8. What kinds of reports are available through the system?
A wide variety of reports are available, including many contract-based reports in summary and detail, contact lists, client lists, management and system statistics, intellectual property, action-based reports, and much more. You can also export reports to Excel, and export grids to Excel.
9. I need more flexibility – do you offer more capabilities?
Our larger system, Contract Advantage Web, offers many more capabilities. Customizations are possible on our Client Server and Web product lines. Client requests often generate the introduction of more capabilities in our products.
10. What are the hardware requirements of the product?
CACS can be run on one server, supporting the application, documents and database, with multiple workstations accessing that server. The preferred workstation is Windows XP, Service Pack 2. Microsoft Windows Server 2003 is the recommended Server operating system platform, with 1GB of main memory, and a RAID-5 or mirrored storage system (50-100GB usable, at minimum).
11. What are the development tools used for this product and why is that important?
CACS was created using Microsoft Visual Studio/VB 6 for the front end development and SQL Server 2000 for the backend database.
12. My group does not require that everyone be on the system at the same time. Is there a way that we can share the license for the product?
CACS has been designed and priced on a concurrent or named user basis. This means that it will allow a set number of simultaneous users on the system at the same time. For example, a 5-user pack will allow for 5 users logged into the system at one time. However, 20 people could have rights to log into the system. There is a price difference depending on the specific license model selected. To support more users, you will want to look at Contract Advantage Web.
13. How often does The GMS update the software? What is coming next?
We release major new versions every 2-3 years, on average, and several interim releases in between.
The FULL Client-Server Product pricing starts at US$5,999 for a 2-User system and $12,500 for a 5-User system, concurrent license. Named User pricing is lower.
15. How do I get support?
What if I need technical support? GMS offers a maintenance agreement designed to provide the user with ongoing, unlimited direct access to GMS technical support, client support consultants, as well as ongoing upgrades and releases to the core product. Support pricing is based on roughly 20% of the list price license fee.
16. Can CACS store documents and scanned images?
CACS has the ability to link as many documents as you would like from within each contract record. This may be any type of file, including scanned images. If scanned images are stored with a text layer, they then become full-text searchable. We can provide the Scanning Software along with Contract Advantage.
17. How can CACS be customized to suit our company’s specific needs?
CAS includes many modules and fields. You may populate the pull-down menu choices on your own. This is a highly customizable solution “out of the box”. You decide what to track with CAS, not the other way around!
18. How much “extra work” will this bring to my department?
The extra work depends on what you need to accomplish. We can automate loading of legacy documents, interfacing with your ERP systems, etc. Usually, you will also be doing far more than you ever did before—but you will also have more people involved, more ways to spread out the workload. So, it should not dissuade you from doing what must be done. CAS is your key to effectively managing your contracts and resources.
19. How robust are the Search and Reporting features of CACS?
CAS allows you to search upon any combination of fields. Once you have the results of your query, you may print the grid, Export it to Excel or run any of the 100 pre-built reports that are built into CAS, or use the user defined reporting capability. You may then export the reports into Word, Excel, Access, HTML and Crystal Reports.
20. Can I track key actions/dates with CAS?
In addition to the Key Dates, users may set up one-time or recurring actions within each contract record (i.e. renewal, payment, report due, term options). Actions are completely user defined. The highly flexible action reports within CAS will ensure that no actions are overlooked.
21. What type of Security is found in CACS?
CAS provides a very robust security system. Users are given roles and placed in groups. The groups are assigned rights to modules and functions. To access contracts, for instance, the user must be in a group that has correct rights to the security level. Users can belong to multiple groups, and access rights can include Add, Edit, Delete and View rights.
22. Can records be “curtained” from individual users?
Yes. When a user logs into CAS, he can only access the records that fit their security profile. Thus, the user will never see contracts that they do not have access to.
23. What are your customer support hours?
In the US, Customer support is 9AM to 5PM Eastern Client-Server Time. We have an international support center that covers the balance of a 24-hour x 5 day coverage.
24. On average, how long does it take to implement CACS?
The setup is quick – you can set the software up in 1 day, or we can do it for use. We also offer orientation training and classroom training.Share